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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 3: Hosios Loukas and the Corycian Cave

I somehow didn't remember that we own a camera on this day.  There are no pictures from the beautiful Hosios Loukas or our trek out the the Corycian Cave.  It had rained the night before, and the mountains we drove through were shrouded in mist.  The fields were greener than I had remembered them being 12 years ago, which was the first time I had seen both Hosios Loukas and the cave.

Anyway, the whole family wandered around Hosios Loukas, with B taking the big kids to see the more interesting things.  T and I walked around a bit and enjoyed the view.  When we finished at Hosios Loukas, we drove back through Arachova and then up, up and over Mount Parnassus.  Greece is a funny country.  Because of the mountainous terrain, the landscape changes from kilometer to kilometer.  One minute we were in very Greek looking mountains, and the next we thought we were in the Rockies.  Mount Parnassus is a big ski center, so lodges crowded the main road. We imagined we were lost more than once, but we finally spied the tiny dirt road that led up the mountain to the cave.

I'll not lie, friends.  Caves give me the heebie-jeebies.  Our plan was to eat our picnic and then hike up the trail to the cave.  B and the big kids would go on ahead, and T and I would take our time in the hope that we might miss the spelunking.  Go on ahead B and the big kids did, but T decided he would rather explore the same 10 meters of the trail for an hour.  (Totally fine by me.)  I sat and listened to the wind rushing through the pines while he turned over every rock and picked up every stick.  When B and the kids returned, they declared their expedition a success, and we bounced and bumped our way back to the main road and home.

And here's where I apologize for the poor quality of these pictures.  They were meant to be Instagrammed, and somehow that didn't happen.  These pictures are us, playing our favorite Delphic game.  Can you guess the rules?

If you guessed that the rules are somewhat like dodgeball, you'd be right.  Everyone loved playing this game, especially because Daddy had difficulty hitting the targets, but Mama hit everyone.  ;)

This next bit deserves more than an afterthought paragraph, because it really was one of my favorite moments from our time in Delphi.  Every evening after dinner, we would drive down through the mountains to the sea town of Itea.  There we got ice cream and walked along the boardwalk, which was nice, but I think my favorite part was the drive.  The road is filled with hairpin turns, and at one point crosses under itself, but the entire time the sea is visible in the distance.  And once down on the plain, we drove through grove after grove of olives before we got to Itea.  The memory of that view, with the sun low in the sky, is better than any picture I could have taken, but I am sorry that I can't share it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 2: Delphi

On last Tuesday we awoke early to take in the archaeological site and museum at Delphi.  

Here we are eating breakfast(Priced for tourists.  Boo.).

The day was overcast and cool, which was perfect for hiking to the top of the site, which is built into the side of a mountain.

We all needed a few breaks along the way.

 Delphi wasn't T's favorite.

I was concerned that we might not see poppies growing wild this spring.  Silly me.

We're not sure how much the kids gleaned from the "lectures," but we'll show them pictures when they get older.

Then we hit the museum.

A disclaimer: I don't really like taking pictures of the insides of museums, because the objects never quite look the same as they do in person.  We all enjoyed the museum, especially T, who was asleep the entire time. 

After our exhausting morning, we went to the store, got things for lunch and dinner, and spent the afternoon relaxing at our little cabin.  Exciting times.

Monday, April 23, 2012

What we did, day 1

I have actually had a three week break from the blog, although I was intending for the break to last two weeks.  B was out of town (with his computer) for ten days--the week before Holy Week until Holy Tuesday evening.  It was actually the longest stretch of time he has left me by myself with all three children.  I was more than a little nervous, being in Greece and all, but we did just fine; the kids were calm, healthy, and helpful.

Last week, I had hoped to document our Pascha break travels, but discovered that the Wi-Fi promised at each place we stayed was spotty at best.  It was alright.  Though I may not have had the capability of posting, I had more of an opportunity to love on my kiddies.

So, if you don't mind me retracing our steps, I'll share what we did during the week after Pascha.

Monday, we rose as early as our tired bodies would allow and packed up our things.  We left at around 9 or 10 for Delphi.  Knowing our trip would seem long to children who haven't been on a car trip in months, we decided to stop in Livatheia for a picnic lunch.

 There is a lovely spring in Levatheia that runs down a mountain and through the town.  The kids had a great time throwing rocks into it and getting dirty.  After lunch, we hopped back into the car and headed on to Delphi.

If you ever have a chance to travel throughout Europe, we have it on good authority Campsites are the best places to stay.  This little one near Delphi had little cabins with two bedrooms and a kitchen/living area.  The kids loved staying here, despite the lack of other young guests.  Thankfully we remembered a ball so that the kids could play when we weren't sightseeing.  We even came up with a new (to us) game, but I'll write about that later.

We spent the afternoon settling in and playing with our ball.  

Friday, April 6, 2012

Καλό Πάσχα!

As today is the last day of Lent, I'll say good-bye for now.  I'm looking forward to attending at least one Bridegroom Service in the coming week, God willing, and as many of the other services as I can.  

I'll be back sometime after Pascha.  Until then, have a lovely Holy Week!  

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Book Poor, part 24

Knowing that M is a big bird-lover, Tante B brought us some bird books.  I remember the red one from my youth.

M displaying his favorite birds.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesdays: Greek

Today is patatopites.  Here's the real deal from a local eatery.

Here are my suggestions about how to make them at home.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Greek Holidays: Independence Day

I'm a little late in posting about this one.  What with relatives arriving on the day, and a whirlwind of preparations, the blog post about the holiday on March 25 fell through the cracks.  On the Friday before, M's kindergarten class had quite a performance.  He dressed up in a paper skirt that he helped make several days before (Greek school take note!) and a red tasseled hat.  After the performance, he paraded around with the other children from his kindergarten.

Z got to attend the performance given by the sixth grade. The performance included this dance, which made quite an impression on Z.   As much as she enjoyed it, I know she'll be happy to celebrate with her friends at Greek School in the US next year.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Here and There: The Pharmacy

THERE, we have no real reason to visit the pharmacy and speak to the pharmacists unless we have a prescription.  Prescriptions, at least for our family, are available only after a visit to the doctor.(Growing up, my dad always prescribed medicine for illnesses like strep throat.)  Other over the counter drugs are available without any special consultations.

HERE, the pharmacist plays a larger role in diagnosing illnesses, and many things that can only be obtained by prescription in the US are available over the counter.  We have treated impetigo, pink eye and, believe it or not, croup by describing symptoms.  The available drugs are very inexpensive, and so is avoiding the doctor for minor illnesses.  It seems that many pharmacists are trained in homeopathic cures, so often a bottle of drops will be accompanied with advice for natural home remedies.